Airbus SAS is set to announce an order from Indonesia’s PT Lion Mentari Airlines for more than 200 single-aisle aircraft valued at more than $20 billion, two people familiar with the agreement said.
The order, to be unveiled at a ceremony this morning at the French presidential palace in Paris, will include current- generation A320s as well as planes from the newer A320neo series, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the accord hasn’t been made public.
The Indonesian carrier needs more aircraft as it adds flights in a region where air travel is expected to grow more than 6.4 percent annually through 2031. Lion Air, which flies to more than 36 destinations within Indonesia and overseas, is establishing a low-cost carrier in Malaysia to challenge AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA), Airbus’s biggest A320 customer.
Airbus spokeswoman Marcella Muratore declined to comment. Officials at Lion Air couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. French newspaper Les Echos earlier reported that Airbus is set to announce the order, without saying where it obtained the information.
The Asian airline had already signed a record order with Boeing Co. (BA:US) for 230 additional 737s in February last year. That deal was worth $22.4 billion at list prices. The purchase, which also included 150 options, was Boeing’s biggest in dollar value and plane numbers at the time.
Airbus has won major orders for its bestselling A320 family of planes in the past week, including 100 purchases from Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) and an order from Turkish Airlines (THYAO) for 82 A320-series planes worth $9.3 billion at list price. Customers typically buy aircraft at discount.
An order in excess of 200 aircraft from Lion Air would help the carrier break into the ranks of the Top 5 operators of Airbus single-aisle planes, after AirAsia BHD, Lufthansa, India’s IndiGo and EasyJet Plc.
Surging demand has allowed Airbus to take in about half the number of orders in the first quarter alone that it captured in all of 2012 for its A320 and A320neo series. Airbus won orders for 305 of the A320 series and another 478 for the A320neo last year.
The neo variant will offer a choice between engines by United Technologies Corp. (UTX:US)’s Pratt & Whitney or by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. (GE:US) and Safran SA (SAF) of France.
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